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‘Embarrassing end’ to Paul Ryan’s career as he gavels closed session in empty chamber during Trump shutdown: Report

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On Friday, columnist Paul Kane detailed in The Washington Post that Republicans are having an embarrassing end of the year, especially for outgoing House Speaker Paul Ryan.

He explained that the GOP is ending the year exactly how it started.

“Republicans are ending the 115th Congress in an all-too-familiar spot: standing on the sidelines while President Trump picks a fight they wanted to avoid as he ignores what they consider major conservative accomplishments,” he wrote.

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Republicans had a few successes this year, but Trump decided to only focus on the negative.

“Instead, Trump used each ceremony as an opportunity to denounce Democrats for opposing his multibillion-dollar demands for U.S. taxpayer money to fund a southern border wall, launching Washington into its third partial shutdown this year,” Kane wrote.

“It’s an embarrassing end to a two-year run for McConnell and Ryan. For months they respectively called this the ‘most successful Congress’ for Republicans and claimed it set ‘a record pace’ for legislative production.”

Trump’s desire for a border wall overshadows any positive action from the GOP, such as helping to pass a historic prison reform bill.

“Time and again, Trump has paid lip service to these issues that Republicans consider wins and instead has focused on his demands for a border wall. Early this year, after the tax cuts took effect, GOP leaders winced as Trump focused on other issues and saw public approval for the legislation fade away,” he said.

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He noted that Ryans last moments on the House Floor was weak and nothing but a “whimper” as he realized the government would shut down. Republicans will end the year in a government shutdown because Trump refused to sign off on the budget until funding is approved for his border wall.

“Ryan’s last moment on the House floor came Friday evening when he gaveled the empty chamber shut, the last legislative session of 2018 going out with a whimper,” he said.

Read the full article here.

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2020 Election

There were several glaring omissions in the FBI’s bizarre announcement about election interference

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Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe and FBI Director Christopher Wray announced on Wednesday in a last-minute press briefing that both Iran and Russia have obtained voter registration information and have "taken specific actions to influence public opinion."

In particular, Ratcliffe said that Iran has been found to have sent "spoofed emails designed to intimidate voters, incite social unrest, and damage President Trump." He seemed to be referring to an incident described in a Washington Post story published right before the conference, which said the U.S. has concluded that Iran had sent emails pretending to be from the right-wing group the Proud Boys to Democratic voters.

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Termination of this top Pentagon official reveals another disturbing pattern in the Trump administration

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Warren Whitlock enjoyed a remarkable career as a diversity officer at the federal Transportation Department, winning victories for poor communities of color that his superiors thought impossible. There’s even a documentary film about his success in getting municipal bus service for a Black neighborhood in Beavercreek, Ohio, that had been intentionally bypassed.

In its waning days of the Obama era, the Army chose Whitlock to become one of its highest-ranking Black civilians. His task: resolve diversity issues that had languished for years, some since George Herbert Walker Bush was commander-in-chief nearly three decades ago.

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2020 Election

Expert: Trump’s ‘forward-leaning posture’ and ‘body tics’ are cause for serious concern

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A professor of Neurology at George Washington University says he believes there may be legitimate concerns over President Donald J. Trump's "forward-listing posture" that goes beyond the comical memes and gif responses normally shared on social media.

"I know something about political figures and observable signs of illness from afar," Richard E. Cytowic M.D. wrote in Psychology Today. "... The American public deserves an accurate account of our president’s health."

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